Oulipost #14: Column Inches

Belonging/Bodies

Seeking a brother/bulldozer to lead a dynamic and innovative educational dream dude representing 1,000 bodies working with 30 seeing seconds in the cabin’s southwest hallway. Educational peering people delivers more than 300 different services and joys – ranging from amateur body blast cascading volcano to landslide, ever-changing luck, and special eruption. Located in the greater photo-fishing lodge, the kinds, friends, throats and scenarios of the watchers reach beyond direct pondering to forge dynamic business and corporate logging. The successful “friend” will have strong ore and entrepreneurial and geologist parts and possess the plan to apply for these parts in a public rock room. To be considered submit a rubber with unit to hope.

 

re: re: That terrorism was opportunity!

Damn Afghanistan im just tryin to get back at that sweet conspirator I found! Why do you care? This intelligence took the whole defendant mistreatment up in that Guantanomo! How can I find that again?? I don’t know her complaints so I be all where you at!! I need deprivation at that idea. How’s a satellite gonna act??

 

Hot mess super birth

Infants sat in

front of bodies

(with your middle-

class?) and kept

looking back at

living between

counts. Reply

with what cause

said to motive

and what DNA was

wearing

To the experts with complex airs of “righteousness”

It has been a hard-

edge since I saw

constraints make a news

paper sound like a 1985

Interpol investigation. Thanks

for the apartheid, authority

avengers!

 


Poems were constructed from numerous articles in Seattle Times 14 April 2014 Print Replica.


Note on composition and process:

These poems are experiments with Oulipean syntax substitutions, not unlike the N+7 or definitional lit techniques. The basic idea is to begin with a classified ad or advertisements and substitute all the nouns in the ad with nouns from an article in today’s paper. You can read the full prompt and check out other Oulipost contributers’ take on this particular exercise at the Found Poetry Review blog.

So the Monday edition of the Seattle Times is a little light on Classified ads, in that it doesn’t have any. I wasn’t invested in working with any of the particular paid ads, so I turned to the previous day’s edition (Sunday) which had a whole section of help wanted ads. I took one of the first ones — for a CEO of an educational service company. I paired that up with Monday’s main front-page story (Lacitis, Erik “Familiar Heartbreak”) which drew comparisons between the recent Oso mudslide and the Mount St Helens eruption in 1980.  Frankly, it was pretty hard, given all the nouns about volcanic activity to keep the subject matter from navigating toward NSFW territory, as you can see in “Belonging/Bodies” above. I didn’t even bother fighting the impulse, I just went with it. I kind of liked how it worked (for me at least) as the Freudian subtext of for-profit education.

As I was swapping nouns and snickering like a junior-higher, I thought it might be fun to take the exercise the other way — start with a lewd ad and work back in more gravid subject matter. So, I broke the rules a bit and went on over to the “Missed Connections” board for Seattle’s Craig’s List.  I paired them up with articles about Guantanomo detainees, a Utah woman who killed at least seven of her own children, and the Oscar Pistorius trial. I was pleasantly pleased with the results, which steered clear of either the adult-themed innuendo and the grisly details of murder and torture — with the exception of “re:re: that terrorism was opportunity!”, but  that was a perfect blending of the two.

 

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